Today President Obama built on his commitment to help families afford child care by releasing a significant proposal designed to improve access to high quality child care. The proposal will provide support to 1 million more children by 2025, so that a total of 2.6 million children can be served each month.
A key component of the President's proposal is to expand access to child care through support for families with incomes up to 200 percent of poverty who have children under the age of three. The proposal is designed to improve access to child care for our nation's youngest children, providing them with a safe and stimulating learning environment, while helping parents participate in the workforce, or attend school or job training.
The proposal calls for investment in the newly reauthorized Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) to ensure high-quality programs. Resources will be provided to help guide states through the implementation process and to help them apply the increased health and safety standards.
Additionally, the President proposes a $100 million investment in an innovation fund. This fund would support new competitive grants to states, territories, and tribes to assist them with the development, implementation, and evaluation of their early childhood systems. This opportunity for innovation will help communities address the unmet needs of families and children.
These three major steps toward securing greater access and higher quality child care come immediately after the President's State of the Union address, in which he unveiled a tax proposal that would streamline child care tax benefits and increase the maximum child care credit for middle class families with young children to $3,000 per child. This reform would help 5.1 million families cover the costs of child care.
These proposals will further expand the recent investments in early education initiatives, such as full day and full year Head Start, the Early Head Start/Child Care partnerships, preschool development and expansion, and home visiting. Further details will be available when the President releases his budget in February. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) looks forward to working with the President and Congress to help create opportunities at the federal, state and local level for all families to access the quality care they need to thrive.